Monday’s Free Sports Pick: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays

Jun 24, 2013

Tampa Bay Rays (-117) over Toronto Blue Jays

Analysis: While Toronto is certainly the hottest team in baseball, it is important to note that the Blue Jays are 16-19 on the road this season where they are batting a mere .244 with a .298 on base percentage (4.2 runs per game). Toronto is also a money-burning 14-20 (-5.3 units) versus division opponents against whom they are hitting just .249 with a .307 on base percentage (4.4 runs per game). And, those offensive statistics are significant in that the Blue Jays are 7-15 (-8.8 units) with an on base percentage of .300 or worse over its last ten games. Now, Toronto has to face improving right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, who boasts a 17/0 K/BB ratio in 23 innings of work in June. More importantly, Hellickson is 3-2 with a career 3.04 ERA and 1.21 WHIP versus the Blue Jays, including limiting Toronto to three earned runs or less in each of his eight starts.

From a technical standpoint, Tampa Bay starter Jeremy Hellickson is a profitable 8-2 (+5.8 units) with a total between 8.5 and 10 runs and 5-2 (+2.2 units) as a home favorite, whereas Toronto right-hander Esmil Rogers is an atrocious 1-10 (-9.2 units) versus division opponents and 3-8 (-4.7 units) as an underdog of +150 or less in his career. And, speaking of Rogers, he is more suitable as a reliever based upon his historical performance in a team’s starting rotation:

Emil Rogers’ Results as a Starter:

2011: 5-6 with a 6.28 ERA and 1.81 WHIP (71.2 IP; 50 ER; 92 H)

2010: 1-2 with a 6.34 ERA and 1.75 WHIP (38.1 IP; 27 ER; 54 H)

Rogers now faces a difficult task in taming one of the American League’s best offenses in Tampa Bay as the Rays are averaging 5.0 runs per game at home this season (.774 OPS). With Tampa Bay standing at 29-14 (+12.2 units) in this series over the last three seasons, including 16-6 (+7.2 units) at home, take the Rays and invest with confidence.